Around 1915, a Scotsman who worked in a cork factory in Palamós, observed the large quantity of Arundo Donax that grew in the surroundings of the town. At that time, the cane was used in the construction of baskets, in the garden and in construction work. That Scotsman, named Smith, probably played some musical instrument and knew what reeds were made of.
First, Smith spoke to a basketmaker and asked him if he could get hard canes and sent them to Scotland where they would be tested. The basketmaker collected some samples and Smith gave him an address where to send them. After some exchanges testing different types of reed, the basketmaker received his first letter from Scotland, written in English. At that time Mr. Smith was not in Palamos and the basketmaker did not understand anything that was being communicated to him from Scotland.
At that time Mr. Smith was not in Palamos and the basketmaker did not understand anything that was being communicated to him from Scotland.
One night, walking through the bay of Palamós, the basketmaker met Julio Perxés, a friend of his who understood English. He informed him of the existence of the letter, and Perxés offered to translate it.
The text asked for a small quantity of cane and Perxés himself answered the letter and sent some samples of good quality. The basketmaker, very satisfied, left everything in his hands.
Julio Perxés verified the business possibilities that the cane supply offered and began to conjecture for a plan to harvest good cane. During the following year Perxés sent small packages with tube samples to manufacturers in Glasgow and the useless, soft reeds were sought to be returned in order to gain knowledge and experience in selecting the best quality reeds.
When Julio Perxés decided to really start the business, he received the collaboration of his brother-in-law, Francisco Medir and, it is not known exactly why, the factory was named Medir instead of Perxés.
This was the beginning of the cane industry in Palamós and with time and experience these two brothers-in-law, working together, achieved a high quality in the selection of cane. They investigated the suitable soils where the plant gets more vigor and they got a series of their own plantations in the surroundings of the town. As the industry grew, more plantations were set up and the harvesting of sugarcane from other parts of Catalonia became necessary.
From the 1940s, it was the son of Francisco who assumed the continuity of the business, Lluís Medir Perxés, who promoted it, modernized it and made it grow. Over time, they went from supplying only the raw material to different reed manufacturers around the world to offering musicians completely finished products.